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World Journal in Partnership with the Chinese Community

NCM Profile

NCM, Sandip Roy and Pueng Vongs Posted: Aug 13, 2003

The World Journal is one of the most widely-read Chinese-language dailies in the United States. Its offices are based in Taiwan, and five of its six sections still come from Taipei. But Advertising Account Executive May Shen denies that the paper is lockstep with the party politics in Taiwan. "Since we deviate from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party line, I think overseas Chinese trust us morethey do not think we are a party mouthpiece."

The World Journal used to be fervently anti-communist, but now they support reunification with China, although they say it will not happen until China becomes democratic.

In addition to covering international news, the newspaper's coverage is well grounded in U.S. Chinese communities. With a national circulation of approximately 350,000, the newspaper has three U.S. branch offices in Los Angeles, New York and Millbrae, California, where Shen works. Located near Silicon Valley, the staff is able to keep an eye on the large population of recent immigrants -- urban, educated professionals and their families, who bypassed older Chinatown settlements and headed straight for affluent suburbs.

The core readers of the Northern California edition are young professionals in the Chinese community 30 percent of its 60,000 plus readership comes from families making more than $100,000, according to Shen.

As their economic influence grows, so does their political empowerment. In towns across Silicon Valley, Chinese Americans are being elected to many seats on local government boards, including the mayor of the city of Cupertino.

The Northern California office of the World Journal made a name for itself when it took up the case of the nuclear scientist Dr. Wen Ho Lee, who was wrongfully accused of spying. The World Journal was one of the first U.S. media outlets to speak up in the scientist's defense and many later followed.

But Shen says in order for the paper to survive, they need to be more than just news couriers. With the Internet, she says people can get the news free from China and Taiwan. She hopes that what makes the World Journal special is its leadership role in the community. Shen ticks off different fundraising campaigns from September 11 in New York to an earthquake in Taiwan. The partnership between the newspaper and the community continues to move Chinese forward in the United States.

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